My goodness, but published authors do get asked a lot of questions. (Probably some unpublished authors do too, though no one asked me questions–at least not about writing–in my pre-pub days.) But, are we really THAT interesting, once we have had a book published?
I suspect those wanting answers to various questions (1) think writers are rather, um, ‘peculiar,’ and they’re curious about what makes us tick. (2) They are authors themselves and want to know what ways other authors are using their talents and operating their business that may be different from their own. (I admit to this interest.) (3) They like a “this is your life” sort of exposé about anyone, or (4) they’re always eager for something new to gossip about, and writers (being peculiar, you know,) are great sources for gossip.
I’ve recently been given lists of questions by several sources–blog hosts, magazine editors, and so on. Fortunately I have always thought answering questions was fun (I love responding to surveys), so filling in the blanks is never annoying or boring. I labor away, trying to make my replies sound like good sense.
Most recently, Anne K Albert asked me a bunch of questions (some of them could have led to embarrassing answers, I admit) and I willingly answered all of them. Some, not all appear on her blog this week (http://anne-k-albert.blogspot.com) but I willingly fill in now a couple of the answers that were left out for lack of space. (I do tend to be wordy, Internet or not! Probably one reason I’ve never been a tweeter, though it might be good training!)
Question: What activity (cause, charity, or organization) consumes your time when you’re away from the keyboard?
Answer: I am active in my church, but, in addition, I currently serve as mentor for several beginning writers. That doesn’t mean I’m an editor. I chat with them on line, meet with them, praise the talent I see and the value of their work, talk to them about promotion, give them guides to possible publishers, encourage them to keep going–that sort of thing. I had someone to cheer me on when I was writing my first book, and I know how much it meant to me. I might never have been published if it hadn’t been for Peggy Fielding of Tulsa, OK, (where I lived at the time).
Question: Have you ever experienced writer’s block?
Answer (expanding on what I told Anne): It may seem dumb, but, as much as I see it discussed, I’ve never been truly sure what writer’s block is or how it manifests itself. Does anyone reading this have a definition? Please share!
Does it mean you can’t think of an idea for starting a writing project? If so, the answer to that in my case is no, I never have, not yet, at least. Ideas are always buzzing around inside my head, and I have more trouble deciding what or which than I have ever had looking for an idea and coming up blank. Problem is, with so many ideas coming along, I tend to appear distracted or uninterested in what people around me are saying or doing at the moment. (I might be rude, but never blocked!)
OR . . . does it mean being stumped in the middle of an article or story about what to do next? (Someone said the answer to that for mystery writers was simply to kill someone else.) Though I don’t outline, and discover my stories as I write (as accomplished and prolific author Carolyn Hart once said about her work), I begin each writing session without ever feeling I am going to have trouble putting down what happens next. Honestly folks, the ideas just show up. But then, I have always had an overly lively imagination. Of course sometimes ideas don’t work, but it only takes a page or two for me to realize I’m off track. I have tremendous fun finding out what Carrie McCrite, Henry King, Shirley Booth, and all the rest are going to experience next!
And, that’s all for this week, folks. Do see the other answers at http://anne-k-albert.blogspot.com